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  • Jason McClean
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I always stream radio through my laptop when working and we are most definitely at peak time for all the Christmas songs. I just heard Paul McCartney’s “simply having a wonderful Christmas time’.

Paul is right, it is a truly wonderful time and with two young children I feel especially privileged, but its also a time to think of people less fortunate and one that (as an insurance professional) I always think of are those a that have their contents burgled before the big day. They end up simply having a thoroughly miserable time.

Now I don’t want to appear an insurance bore but it’s important for homeowners & tenants to think carefully about the additional risks Christmas places on your property and how it can impact on your property insurance. Most homes will have their fair share of expensive valuable and very portable presents that are perfect for those who choose to enter properties without invitation.

Here are a few tips to avoid heartache over the holiday period:-

Away over Xmas?
Burglars will be on the prowl for homes where the residents are out, if you are planning to visit friends over the festive period then ensure you keep a few lights on to make it look like you are in as normal, longer-term if you are a regular party-goer installing automatic timer-switches to come on at intervals will also create that important doubt in the mind of the criminal.

According to the Home Office, one fifth of all burglaries require no force as windows and doors are frequently left open, so always make sure everything is locked and your home is fully secure before you leave.

Bin those boxes carefully
Now that you’ve opened all the presents steer clear of leaving the empty boxes and packaging in sight. This acts as a glaring advertisement to thieves and shows them all the valuable items you now have in your home. Post-Christmas can be just as bad for burglaries, so make sure you dispose of packaging responsibly by ripping it up, taking it to the tip and recycling.

Are you adequately covered?
Most insurers will usually increase the level of your home contents insurance over the Christmas period, usually by 10% but subject to a limit, but remember this is only December and cover returns to standard limits afterwards.

So if you’re lucky enough to have had Santa deliver the latest camera, tablet or phone, you need to review whether the level of coverage (or sums insured) is sufficient post-Christmas.

Another important point relates to where these new expensive items will be insured. Standard contents cover only claims occurring in the home. If you plan to take your camera or tablet away from the home to show friends then you will need to extend coverage, or for particularly expensive items have them specified on the policy and insure them for all risks.

If you are unsure as to whether your insurance coverage is sufficient post-Christmas then speak to your current insurance provider as soon as possible. Alternatively if you require a home insurance quote click on www.thepropertyinsurer.co.uk, we have a panel of leading property insurance specialists competing for your business, give us a try!


Doug Phelan

I am a director of the Property Insurer and Property Landlord. We tell it how it really is. Yes property insurance can be boring , but our job is to make it more interesting, useful and above all save you money!